Kudos for Cacini: Outgoing Yukon Ward 1 council member lauded

Community service far from over

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Outgoing Yukon Ward 1 City Council Member Rick Cacini (center) stands with Yukon Parks & Recreation Director Chris Lucas (left) and Yukon Fire Chief Shawn Vogt during a reception at the April 19th council meeting. Cacini was honored for his four years of service as Yukon’s Ward 1 representative. (Photo by Conrad Dudderar)

By Conrad Dudderar
Staff Writer

A Yukon City Council member was lauded this week for his service to the City of Yukon – service he says will continue in full force after he leaves elected office

Rick Cacini is ending a four-year term as Yukon’s Ward 1 city council representative. Cacini’s last meeting was April 19 when he was presented an Oklahoma Municipal League certificate of achievement and pin.

“It’s not his last night of serving this city,” Yukon Mayor Shelli Selby emphasized. “He’s going to continue. He’ll be out there. You’ll see him.”

Cacini was defeated in his bid for a second term in the Feb. 8th city council election, losing his Ward 1 seat to Yukon teacher/coach Rodney Zimmerman by a 197-126 vote margin.

“I’m not going to be leaving the city,” he said. “I’ve got 12 to 13 organizations I’m serving the community in.

“It’s been a real pleasure working for all of you.”

Founder and curator of the Yukon Veterans Museum, Cacini has been on the five-member city council since May 1, 2018, after being elected without opposition.

For the past two years, he’s been Yukon’s vice mayor.

As Cacini prepares to leave office, OML’s board of directors has conferred on him the designation of “certified municipal official.”

“It’s a very big honor to become a certified official,” Selby explained. “It takes a lot of work; it takes a lot of time.”

The mayor also presented a plaque from the City of Yukon thanking Cacini for his “years of public service.”

Outgoing Ward 1 Yukon City Council Member Rick Cacini accepts an Oklahoma Municipal League certificate of achievement and gift from Mayor Shelli Selby during the April 19th city council meeting inside the Centennial Building, 12 S 5th. This was Cacini’s last meeting in a four-year term on the five-member city council. (Photo by Conrad Dudderar)
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MOVING FORWARD

During council discussion near the end of the April 19th meeting, the outgoing Ward 1 representative offered thanks to Yukon residents, city employees, city contractors, and fellow council members.

“All of us working together has kept this city running – and running smoothly,” Cacini said.

The city council “as a team” has “successfully moved forward from some darker days,” he added.

A retired U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force lieutenant colonel, Cacini completed overseas deployments during 40 years of active service.

“It was a pleasure to work for the country and the citizens of the United States of America,” he said.

Cacini’s term will officially end when Zimmerman takes office at the May 3rd city council meeting as Yukon’s new Ward 1 representative.

Less than 10% of registered Ward 1 voters cast their ballots in February’s city council election, a bone of contention for Cacini.

“We had 4,000 folks that didn’t vote and 300 that did,” he said. “When you put your life on the line to have those freedoms, and you see 4,000 not voting, it really gets you.”

Other city council members offered kudos to Cacini at Tuesday night’s meeting.

Mayor Selby thanked him for being her vice mayor and “always having my back.”

“I know we have not seen the last of you,” Selby added.

Ward 3 Council Member Donna Yanda called it a “tremendous honor” to serve alongside Cacini:

“Your service and contributions to this council will be missed.”

At-large Council Member Jeff Wootton told Cacini, “You’ve done an awesome job and you’ve been great for the city.”